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Conflicting Characters in A Tale of Two Cities Essay


A Tale of Two Cities

Since the dawn of English literature, authors have continuously written regarding conflicting characters. One early author, Charles Dickens, demonstrates an illustrious case in his popular novel, A Tale of Two Cities. Sydney Carton, an insolent, indifferent and alcoholic attorney whose love for Lucie revolutionizes him into a man of value, is juxtaposed by the antagonist in the novel, Charles Darnay. Darnay, a French aristocrat who ultimately marries Lucie, possesses a vital role in the development of the novel. Carton, additionally, plays crucial role in the development of the theme that we can all attain redemption in the novel. Furthermore, Dickens reveals this theme by the actions of the protagonist, Carton, and the antagonist, Darnay.

The protagonist is this novel is Sydney Carton. Carton at first appears to be an insignificant addition to the novel, but with close analysis he is critical to the success of the novel. Carton is derived from good, and has good intentions although he may not demonstrate them often. For example, Carton reveals his good intent by asking Darnay to put the past behind them possibly commence a friendship. "Mr.Darnay, I wish we might be friends."..."Indeed when I say I wish we might be friends, I scarcely mean quite that, either."...."that I might be regarded as an useless and unornamented piece of furniture, tolerated for its old service, and taken no notice of" (Dickens 213). However Carton is reluctant to become close to Darnay, he does not want to continually collide. Cartons character is intensely modified, from being an insignificant drunk and a man without a care for anyone, but after closer analysis seems to be a caring and illustrious addition to this novel.

Charles Darnay, the antagonist in the novel, causes many obstacles for Sydney Carton, the protagonist. Darnay, ultimately, causes Cartons death. Carton sought after Lucies hand in marriage, and Darnay, in the end, took Lucies hand in holy matrimony. Carton attempts to show his true feeling towards Lucie but his feelings are not returned. "...think now and then that there is a man, who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you (Dickens158). This the first time that Cartoon has illustrated his true feelings for anyone. Carton makes a promise to Lucie that he will always love Lucie and for all eternity be there for her. However, Lucie does not have the same feelings for Carton. Darnay consequently, reveals his love for Lucie, and they wed shortly after. As a result, Darnay is the antagonist and initiates great trouble and dilemmas for Carton.

The protagonist, Sydney Carton, utilizes the theme that we can all attain redemption. During a character-defining moment Carton is faced with a life-saving decision and chooses to save Charles Darnay and Lucie. "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known" (Dickens 374). At this moment, the narrator is expressing what Carton would have said had he been alive. This has substantial importance because it illustrates a major character change for Carton. For the first time, Carton feels that he has done something worthwhile, and feels he will gain with his death that which he could not find in life. Carton feels that he has finally attained redemption.

In conclusion, by Dickenss use of conflicting characters, the theme that we can all attain redemption is developed. In the world today, many have conflicting people in their lives. As a result, much hatred and unnecessary actions occur. Conclusively, Dickens portrays Sydney Carton as the protagonist and Charles Darnay as the antagonist to further expand on the theme that we can all attain redemption in our lives.

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